Be effective. Be productive. Work harder. We live in the most success-obsessed society ever and a high tempo of life combined with the perpetual stimulation from Social media definitely doesn’t make things easier. No wonder, that sleeping in this given context can be easily put into the box with “things you shouldn’t waste your time on” label. And this misconception is one of the worst things you can do while chasing the high-praised productivity.
"“If you’ve ever witnessed a garbage strike, you know how usually clean and tidy streets of your district start to look like. The amount of trash grows and forms huge piles that smell bad and cause you discomfort. The same thing happens in the brain when you're not sleeping or resting. "
Katarina Gospic, a Swedish brain scientist, responds to the cultivating myth about “the shorter sleep it better” by drawing a parallel between cleaning the streets from garbage and our brain that helps “to clean” our bodies from stress while we sleep. The shorter sleep cycle you have, the more “rubbish” accumulates in your body systems.
How to understand that you don’t get enough sleep? One of the most obvious symptoms is being constantly irritated by the minor things during the day. If you can’t focus on your work because your colleague is breathing too loud or you are annoyed with the orange juice being not orange enough, it’s time to re-think your sleeping habits.
"Just remember: it’s not only about how long you sleep, but it’s also about how you sleep."
And this is how you can get the most from the hours of rest you have:
Follow the schedule
Routine is the key. Our bodies are designed to follow certain cycles and patterns and every course deviation is causing the stress you want to avoid. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time daily, including the weekends. The same goes for a skincare regime. Implementing a consistency in both morning and evening beauty routine can not only improve the look of your skin but also set the whole body into a more relaxed/awake mode. It’s all about patterns and habits, remember?
Create a relaxing environment
Adults are very good at creating relaxing environments for children, but not everyone realizes that they should do it for themselves. What does it mean? No TV, laptop or mobile phone in the bed. Simple like this.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening
Most of us are aware that caffeine affects rest, but alcohol has an equally serious impact. Alcohol might help one fall asleep, but with the cost of poorer quality of sleep.
Can’t fall asleep because of the noisy subway outside or your lovely partner’s snoring? Then sleeping with the earplugs on might be a good idea. Just opt for more comfortable and advanced ones, designed with the anatomy of human ears in mind.
Expose yourself to the bright light in the morning to gain more energy, but reduce it gradually during the day. Just follow the natural rhythm of the sun: the later is it, the less light you need (blue light from the screens counts as well). Consider using silky sleep mask - it will give you the darkness you need in a glamorous old-Hollywood-movie-like style
Even if you keep your bedroom clean, some scents can ruin your sleep. As a rule of thumb, try to avoid any products (including cosmetics) with a strong scent of lemon, lemongrass or other citrus before going to bed. They would be perfect for the first part of the day but might keep you awake if used at night. On the contrary, certain scents can help your body to relax easier.
Which scents you should use in bed? You will find out in the next article. So stay updated!